Bruno says winning attitude is Brazil’s secret to success
“If I have to single out one factor which may explain that winning streak I think I would opt for the philosophy of the team which hasn’t changed at all in the last 12 years” said Brazil team captain Bruno Rezende shortly after their 3-2 victory over Italy. “We all share the same attitude and values. The strength of the group and not the skills of one or the other player is what makes the difference for Brazil. This way we keep winning and I hope we will continue to do so also in the coming years.”
With their countrywomen having swept all of their matches in the women’s tournament which had drawn to a close last Sunday in Tokyo, Brazil repeated what they had already done in 2005, i.e. a complete sweep of the men’s and women’s World Grand Champions Cup gold medals. “Well, I do not know that much about the women’s national team so I can only speak for our team, but for sure they also have a strong group of players and I think we share the same winning mentality,” Bruno adds.
After Giba retired at the end of the Olympic year, Bruno was named captain of the Brazilian national team but he does not feel any pressure: “I had already captained the team in the World League and I have to say that the role and its tasks are quite familiar to me. I have always been the one who is motivating other players and taking care especially of those who are younger and maybe have less experience. That’s what captains are here for, so it comes quite natural. On the other hand, I do not carry this responsibility all alone for there are other players in the group who have been around for quite some time and therefore they share that task with me.”
After they won silver at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles – Bruno’s father and current mentor Bernardo Rezende was part of that group – Brazil have become a major force to be reckoned with. Their national teams have won medals in almost every single Championship, starting with the youngest age groups. It looks like Brazil has turned into some kind of factory that does never stop producing outstanding volleyball players. “Well, I would say that what our teams have achieved in the past couple of decades has motivated and still motivates many young boys and girls to take up volleyball and try to be successful in this sport. Many Brazilian kids dream that one day they will be like Giba, Sergio, or those stars who have made history for our country and the sport. We hope to continue the same way also with this group so as to inspire yet another generation and lay the foundations for a bright future for volleyball in our country.”
At 27 years of age, Bruno is no longer a kid but his own man: “At the very beginning it was not that easy to work with my father. I felt a lot of pressure and even though he is always pushing very hard every single player he is working with, he was naturally very tough with me as well. However, I have adjusted to this and I think I have become more mature, so that we have a very professional way of getting along with each other. This means that here we work as coach and player while once we are back home we return to the ordinary relationship between father and son. I think this helps me a lot and we have found a good compromise for our lives on and off the court.”
In three years Rio will host the Olympics and volleyball will be one of the major attractions for the local audience. “We still have a lot of work to do but I can already promise our fans that we are ready to work as hard as possible so as to be a contender for gold there. We know that there are many other strong teams around like Russia, Italy, Poland, or USA, but by the time Rio hosts the Olympic Games, this group shall be well ready to go for the maximum result.”